Use the Playback Mode link in the subtitle editor to try out automatic or semi-automatic pausing, so that you can keep typing and the video will follow your typing speed!


Before, every time you wanted to pause the video and type a few words or a sentence, you had to press TAB key to stop playback. When you were ready to resume playback and listen to the next segment of the video, you needed to press TAB again. 

When you click the Playback Mode link, it opens a dialog which enables you to select one of the three available options:

1. Standard (default). Video is played continuously without stopping. Press TAB key when you need to stop, and the same TAB key again when you are ready to resume. This is the mode you have used before - nothing new here.

2. Beginner. Video is played by 4 seconds long fragments, then automatically paused to give you time to type what you have heard. When you are done typing, press TAB key to hear the next 4 seconds of the dialogue. This method is suitable for new Amara users or for those who subtitle videos occasionally.

3. Recommended (magical auto-pause). Video is played without stopping, and the editor keeps monitoring your typing activity. If it notices that you have been typing for 4 seconds without a stop, the video is automatically paused to give you time to finish. As soon as you've paused typing, the video automatically skips 3 seconds back from the moment where it had stopped and resumes playback. This method is designed for experienced Amara users to help them finish transcription faster without distracting on pausing and resuming.

When you have made your choice, click the close button. The system will remember your selection and use it for all your future subtitling activities until you change your mind and switch to a different playback mode.

Whatever choice you make, you will still always be able to pause and resume with the use of TAB keyboard key. Also, you can skip back and forward with the following key combinations:

  • CONTROL (or COMMAND)+SHIFT+. (you can think of it as CTRL+>) takes you 4 seconds forward
  • CONTROL (or COMMAND)+SHIFT+, (you can think of it as CTRL+<) takes you 4 seconds back
  • SHIFT+TAB keys skip 2 seconds back

Questions or comments? Please feel welcome to contact us at

Happy subtitling!